If you were spooked at the dinner table Monday Night in New Bedford after hearing police sirens and a loudspeaker, you're not alone.

My wife and I were wrapping up supper when we overheard a police cruiser in the distance announcing something over a PA system. The police vehicle's lights were shining and the sirens sounded. At first, I thought there was some kind of manhunt happening, with warnings to stay inside and lock doors, but as the SUV approached my street, the real reason became clear:

It was about the parking ban.

Although this isn't the first time police have gone this route to have people move their cars, it felt unexpected and eerie.

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Here's what every New Bedford resident, in my neighborhood anyway, heard around 6:15 p.m.

That's one way to get people to move their vehicles.

Parking bans help city workers clear roadways promptly and allow for clear travel for emergency vehicles and residents.

The parking ban for the winter storm hitting Feb. 13 will be in effect for 48 hours unless lifted or extended by city officials. Parking is permitted only on specific sides of streets to streamline snow removal efforts. According to the City of New Bedford, vehicles are allowed to park on the north side of all streets running east and west, and on the east side of all streets running north and south. Typically, the permitted side of the street is opposite fire hydrants.

However, it's important to note that during a snow emergency parking ban, parking is prohibited on both sides of the street in designated areas across the city. These areas include Wood Street (Acushnet Avenue to Belleville Avenue), Acushnet Avenue (Tarkiln Hill Road to Coggeshall Street), Nash Road (Acushnet Aveue to Belleville Avenue), Ashley Boulevard (Nash Road to Coggeshall Street), County Street (Purchase Street to Cove Road), Cottage Street (Durfee Street to Union Street), Mill Street (Kempton Street to Pleasant Street), Kempton Street (Brownell Avenue to Pleasant Street), the Downtown Business District (County Street to Route 18, Kempton Street to Walnut Street), Dartmouth Street (Allen Street to Matthew Street), and Rivet Street (Dartmouth Street to Route 18).

Violators could face $50 tickets and towing.

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